Bolton Wanderers 0-2 Chelsea – Newspaper Reaction, Goal Videos, Match Report

Match reports

The Observer, Duncan Castles: "When opponents are forced on to [Chelsea] by the expectations of the home support, Nicolas Anelka has room to run in to as his team-mates trade passes and launch the counterattack. Goals flow freely, generally early, and the game is dead before energy levels ever become an issue."

Sunday Telegraph, Derick Allsop: "When your game is supposedly faltering and you are confronted by the Premier League’s in form team, you could be excused a sense of trepidation. Chelsea, palpably, had no such concerns."

Sunday Times, Pete Oliver: "Didier Drogba is likely to return for Chelsea when they look to secure their passage from the Champions League group stages on Tuesday night and chief executive Peter Kenyon says he will not be sold in the January transfer window. But with Nicolas Anelka continuing his prolific scoring to lead Chelsea to an eighth successive away league win this season, who is the main man of Stamford Bridge?"

Official Chelsea FC Website, Andy Jones: "Chelsea set a new English record with an 11th straight away league win at Bolton on Saturday, thanks to goals from Nicolas Anelka and Deco."

The goals

9′ Anelka 0-1
21′ Deco 0-2

The game

Convincing, professional, plenty of classy moments, two cracking goals and beating the top flight record for away wins set in 1960. Not a bad afternoon’s work.

This was Chelsea on the road at their best. Two goals up early on and playing plenty of slick one touch football enabled the fans to relax knowing three points were in the bag. The only tension remaining for the afternoon was whether Liverpool would also pick up maximum points.

Early on Bolton had one great chance when Kevin Davies headed over from close range but after nine minutes we took the lead. Some nice work by Jose Bosingwa on the right wing and his decent cross was met by a Nicolas Anelka diving header which flew in off the post.

Fifteen minutes later and as another attack seemed to break down the ball looped out to Deco who, from just inside box, hit a wonderful overhead scissor kick into the bottom corner of the net.

Player ratings

Thought about using the Henry formula but misplaced my slide rule so have instead opted for four judges style voting as in Strictly Come Dancing. You can phone in and vote if you like.

  • Petr Cech: 6-5-6-6 – some decent saves but his clearances continue to be suspect, often putting our defenders under instant pressure.
  • Jose Bosingwa: 7-8-8-7 – some great attack work and created the first goal.
  • John Terry: 7-7-7-7 – solid.
  • Alex: 7-7-7-7 – also solid just bigger.
  • Ashley Cole: 7-7-7-7 – got stuck in.
  • John Obi Mikel: 7-7-7-7 – up to this season’s high standard.
  • Frank Lampard: 7-7-7-7 – must be due a goal soon.
  • Michael Ballack: 7-7-7-7 – hardworking and seems to like Basil Fawlty impersonations with the head bandage.
  • Deco: 7-8-8-7 – was crap against Arsenal and got jeered off but much improved today and his goal will definitely be played over and over on Chelsea TV’s Goalden Moments.
  • Salomon Kalou: 7-7-6-6 – pacy and hard working but needed more composure in front of goal.
  • Nicolas Anelka: 7-8-7-7 – another goal enabling him to perform his butterfly hands to the 5,000 Peter Kays behind the goal.

Man of the Match

Jose Bosinwga. Tight call but a repeat of last week for his attacking prowess and energy.

Final thought

Why can’t we perform as well at home as when we play away?

Is it because home has become too familiar and lost its sparkle? Or because when we play away they’re more accommodating and let us try out new positions?

Whatever the reason we need to stiffen up at home to sustain the challenge.

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